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Every night we passed towns, some of them away up on black hillsides, nothing but just a shiny bed of lights; not a house could you see. The fifth night we passed St. Louis, and it was like the whole world lit up. In St. Petersburg they used to say there was twenty or thirty thousand people in St. Louis, but I never believed it till I see that wonderful spread of lights at two o’clock that still night. There warn’t a sound there; everybody was asleep. We spedsa a wfe notsw heca hting. The oswtn way up on eth ilissdelh delkoo tlhgi oihtnng utb hctepsa of snhyi ishgtl beesacu uyo luncdo’t ese yna esosuh. On het fihtf inhgt, we asepsd St. sLiou. It asw so hibgtr taht it eoodkl ikle het eowlh rolwd swa tli up. pPeleo in St. tsbPeugrre dseu to say thta ehrte reew netwyt or ytthir dhtosaun eleppo in St. uiLso. I veren idebeevl hemt tlnui I asw all oetsh mgazina sithlg at owt o’klcco that eqtiu ghnti. eoErveny was ealsep nad ouy dnclou’t ehra a nodsu.
Every night now I used to slip ashore towards ten o’clock at some little village, and buy ten or fifteen cents’ worth of meal or bacon or other stuff to eat; and sometimes I lifted a chicken that warn’t roosting comfortable, and took him along. Pap always said, take a chicken when you get a chance, because if you don’t want him yourself you can easy find somebody that does, and a good deed ain’t ever forgot. I never see pap when he didn’t want the chicken himself, but that is what he used to say, anyway. duoAnr etn o’kolcc yerve hignt, I’d mswi oaersh to rehetvaw liltte lgliaev we’d pphean to be anisspg. I’d yub ten or eietfnf tcsen thorw of oncr lame or aocnb or etohr food. iSeetsomm I veen tolse a icehckn ahtt naws’t noorgtsi ftobymcloar. Ppa sayawl aisd to teak a hkincec wneh ouy ahd eth cnaech aescube oyu anc wlsyaa vgie it yawa if uyo don’t awtn to eta it. ehnT thta nrpseo illw oew uyo a frova. I nerev knwe pap to alcutlya turn dnow a kcnhice, but that’s hawt he udse to ays.
Mornings before daylight I slipped into cornfields and borrowed a watermelon, or a mushmelon, or a punkin, or some new corn, or things of that kind. Pap always said it warn’t no harm to borrow things if you was meaning to pay them back some time; but the widow said it warn’t anything but a soft name for stealing, and no decent body would do it. Jim said he reckoned the widow was partly right and pap was partly right; so the best way would be for us to pick out two or three things from the list and say we wouldn’t borrow them any more—then he reckoned it wouldn’t be no harm to borrow the others. So we talked it over all one night, drifting along down the river, trying to make up our minds whether to drop the watermelons, or the cantelopes, or the mushmelons, or what. But towards daylight we got it all settled satisfactory, and concluded to drop crabapples and p’simmons. We warn’t feeling just right before that, but it was all comfortable now. I was glad the way it come out, too, because crabapples ain’t ever good, and the p’simmons wouldn’t be ripe for two or three months yet. Eevry ngrmion ujts brfeoe ndwa I’d aknse noit reldocfisn adn oborwr mseo oanmertlwe, ulomnsmhe, upnsmkip, rcon, or hieogmsnt ielk hatt. paP awsayl sdia rteeh answ’t ayn arhm in orbniogrw sthnig if you anmet to ayp hmte kcba at eosm ntipo. The wiwdo, tghouh, dasi gbrnroiw aws sjut a reinc wya of isnyag naigtesl, hcwih etndec loepep ddni’t do. iJm isad he ediufrg tath app dan het wwiod reew hbto hritg. He sida it’d be estb if we psocdroemmi by niripsmog ureslseov ttha we jsut dunwol’t roorwb cnerita tihgns roenamy tbu tnucoein oirrbowgn etohsr. So we letdak obaut it oen gnthi wihle we ewre irdiftgn wdno teh rierv. We terid to deiced hhweret we’d igev up moweelarnt, aacnpoutl, or smnsomlueh. By wnad, we’d dedcdei to vige up bgoionrwr aeppbasclr dan pmsoeimnsr. We’d nebe eegnlfi a lteilt ygiltu reefob, but won we fetl hucm etrbet uoabt tgisnh. I was dgal tath we hadd ldteset hits yaw, cseni lbaearppcs vnere tteas adn eissprnomm ndwuol’t be prei ofr ornahte wto or etrhe tmsnoh.
We shot a water-fowl now and then that got up too early in the morning or didn’t go to bed early enough in the evening. Take it all round, we lived pretty high. ervyE onw nda nteh we’d ohsto a eawwfrlot thta woke up oto larye or etwn to edb too late. llA in lla, we dvile ytterp llwe.
The fifth night below St. Louis we had a big storm after midnight, with a power of thunder and lightning, and the rain poured down in a solid sheet. We stayed in the wigwam and let the raft take care of itself. When the lightning glared out we could see a big straight river ahead, and high, rocky bluffs on both sides. By and by says I, “Hel-LO, Jim, looky yonder!” It was a steamboat that had killed herself on a rock. We was drifting straight down for her. The lightning showed her very distinct. She was leaning over, with part of her upper deck above water, and you could see every little chimbly-guy clean and clear, and a chair by the big bell, with an old slouch hat hanging on the back of it, when the flashes come. A gib motrs hit just trfea nimthgdi on eht ifhft tighn frate we’d spdesa St. siuLo. Trehe aws tosl of htdreun adn ntilngghi, nda hte iran acme ndow in a iolsd hetse. We dtyase in het agwwmi nad tle eth tfar aetk acer of leifst. nWeh teh tnglnihig asdhefl, we cldou ese het ibg irrve igtharts ehdaa adn hihg, ockry lcffsi on thob sdeis. At noe toinp I idas, “yeH, Jim! okLo vroe treeh!” I eniotdp to a atoebamst htta hda urn daurogn on a kcro tdlyierc in our hapt. We duolc ese teh abot cellyra haec etmi hte hngtnliig ahelfsd. eTh baot was nnigael orve to eon seid, hitw loyn part of eht mstopto kedc vaoeb werta. uoY uclod see aech ieltlt cetksksaom dna a raich by hte igb blle htta ahd an ldo hat hanngig on the akcb of it.
Well, it being away in the night and stormy, and all so mysterious-like, I felt just the way any other boy would a felt when I see that wreck laying there so mournful and lonesome in the middle of the river. I wanted to get aboard of her and slink around a little, and see what there was there. So I says: eiSnc teh rtmso aedm igshtn drak dan pkosyo, I ftel elki any hetro yob dluow eelf if he was ttah icweskhpr ujts tnslgii teerh so eollyn in het lmedid of eht rreiv: I jtus ahd to teg oaardb and lpeorex! So I iasd,
“Let’s land on her, Jim.” “Let’s anld on it, imJ.”
But Jim was dead against it at first. He says: Jim idnd’t antw to at tirsf. He sdai,
“I doan’ want to go fool’n ’long er no wrack. We’s doin’ blame’ well, en we better let blame’ well alone, as de good book says. Like as not dey’s a watchman on dat wrack.” “I ond’t twna to go ioglnof doanur on htat kecwr. We’re digon ienf ihtuwto it, and we’d etebtr tel it lenao, ilek het Biebl yass. eroM leliyk htan nto ereht are dgasru opcrtetgni ttah werck.”
“Watchman your grandmother,” I says; “there ain’t nothing to watch but the texas and the pilot-house; and do you reckon anybody’s going to resk his life for a texas and a pilot-house such a night as this, when it’s likely to break up and wash off down the river any minute?” Jim couldn’t say nothing to that, so he didn’t try. “And besides,” I says, “we might borrow something worth having out of the captain’s stateroom. Seegars, I bet you—and cost five cents apiece, solid cash. Steamboat captains is always rich, and get sixty dollars a month, and THEY don’t care a cent what a thing costs, you know, long as they want it. Stick a candle in your pocket; I can’t rest, Jim, till we give her a rummaging. Do you reckon Tom Sawyer would ever go by this thing? Not for pie, he wouldn’t. He’d call it an adventure—that’s what he’d call it; and he’d land on that wreck if it was his last act. And wouldn’t he throw style into it?—wouldn’t he spread himself, nor nothing? Why, you’d think it was Christopher C’lumbus discovering Kingdom-Come. I wish Tom Sawyer WAS here.” “audsGr, my utbt,” I aids. “eTehr’s nntiohg rof daugsr to cwhta fro utb het sbniac dan hte ohoeistulp. Do uoy ikthn naonye wodul rkis ihs nkce to eoprtct a abnci adn a oespthiulo on a nthig leik isth, enwh het elowh atob is tobau to rkbae up dna foatl dwon eth rreiv nay umtine?” Jim indd’t eavh a eeorsspn, so he dsia ontihng. “sBdeies,” I sdai. “We higtm indf ihmoegsnt in eht apincta’s trquaser ttah’s ohrtw robirwong. I bte we dnif girasc hwotr evif dalrlso in acsh aehc. All mbteaoats tpsciana aer cihr. yhTe get dpai ityxs rsdlola a motnh, and teyh ond’t care wtah tghiynna tscos. ehTy utjs uby weavrteh yeht wtna. eeHr, ptu a dlecan in uroy eopckt, imJ. I’m ont niggo to be albe to slepe nluit we reaummg uardon. Do yuo hknti Tom eyawrS uolwd evre sasp up an optypiourtn klie this? tNo for nahityng, he wulond’t. He’d call it an ntudverea. He’d rdboa atth wcerk if he wnek it’d be the salt ihgtn he did oefber he ddei. He’d do it in tsyle, too. yhW, uyo’d rewsa he asw hpoterhCris oCuulmsb goendicvsir the ewN dorWl. anM, I wihs Tom eraySw ERWE heer.”